Expressions of love don’t have to wait for one day of the year


February 14th is the day that is known as the day of love. Society forces men and women to shower their significant others with gifts, chocolates, flowers, and dates. It is the one assigned day of the year when people show love to one another, but why?
As a high school student, I have never understood why Valentine’s Day was such a valued “holiday.” People get excited for the one day out of the year for their significant others to show them that they love them. In reality, if you truly love someone, it will be shown daily. Many people mistake showing love in materialistic ways. Society has made Valentine’s Day to be a pressuring factor. If one does not receive an expensive gift on February 14, they are not loved. This is because traditions have shaped society to think this way.
Love comes in many forms and many ways depending on the relationship. It can be shown in simple ways such as bringing flowers on a random day and random time of the year, bringing them their favorite snack when they are having a challenging day, showing him/her support when times become difficult, being willing to talk about problems and obstacles and work through them together as a team rather than against each other or providing reminders of their worth by simply saying “I love you.”
Not only does Valentine’s Day create pressure for people to follow certain traditions, it can cause people to degrade themselves who do not have a significant other. Many people choose to be single to focus more on themselves, for goodness sake, we are only teenagers. But Valentine’s day can create a sense of overwhelming pressure for people who are not in relationships because they are not able to participate in society’s traditions.
All throughout high school, I never was in a relationship. I always wanted to be the couple that I saw on T.V. and I had this image in my mind of what a relationship would look like. Every year on Valentine’s day I would tell myself that I was lonely and that I was never going to find someone who loves me. But when I decided to be in one, I realized I was wrong. Relationships should be cherished and not for the public to judge. It’s the small things that you both notice and learn to not take for granted. When it came to me thinking I was going to be lonely forever, I should have understood that I am my own person and I need to respect myself, because if you have no respect for yourself, you’ll have no respect for others.
Individuals need to stop being so easily influenced by the materialistic mind-set when it comes to Valentine’s Day. Cherish the small things that come with relationships because it is rare. Cherish the “I love yous,” cherish when they listen, cherish when they open the door or give you a shoulder to cry on, but, more importantly, love yourself and love the person you are. Even if you are not in a relationship with someone else on February 14th, at the end of the day you only have yourself. Love yourself and love others every single day of the year.